Philippines to Introduce Nomad Visas to Boost Long-term Tourism

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    In what could be considered a strategic tourism revitalization effort, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has urged that the government pass what is popularly termed a “nomad visa.” The program, recommended by the Private Sector Advisory Council for Tourism, is meant to encourage long-term foreign visitors who want to work in the Philippines.

    Understanding the Nomad Visa Proposal

    The new nomad visa will allow foreign nationalities working in other countries to live in the Philippines and work remotely—under certain conditions. This is aimed at an increase in their length of stay, accompanied by improvement in tourism revenues without the hassle of tax incentives. Similar visas have done so for Spain, Portugal, and Malta, and the Philippines shall be no exception with its set criteria, such as age and minimum income, among others.

    The Legal Framework and Legislative Process

    House Bill No. 8165, also known as the Digital Nomad Visa Act, was introduced by Surigao del Norte Rep. Francisco Jose “Bingo” Matugas II in May 2023. Currently, it is under review by the Justice Committee of the House of Representatives, aiming to clarify tax policies, visa-issuing authorities, and national security implications.

    Expected Impact on Tourism and Economy

    The introduction of this visa is anticipated to significantly boost the tourism industry in the Philippines. From January to March 2024, the country welcomed over two million international visitors, generating tourism receipts totaling PHP 157.62 billion. By catering to digital nomads, the Philippines aims to achieve a target of 15 million to 16 million tourists, potentially generating $26 billion to $27 billion in tourism receipts by the end of 2024. Additionally, President Marcos has tasked the Office of the Executive Secretary to draft an executive order and select a pilot country for initiating this visa.

    Boosting Local Employment and Sector Capabilities

    Alongside increasing visitor numbers, the new visa is expected to spur industry-specific training programs. These initiatives would equip locals with the skills necessary for tourism-related jobs, further strengthening the sector’s capacity to sustain increased visitor influx.

    Leave a Comment